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Today we are told that the 8.1 update, (a version which allows you to keep apps, settings, and files), is officially being rolled out worldwide. No longer will you have to do a clean OS install, to go from 8 to 8.1.

But I don't see the update inside my (Enterprise's) desktop 'Windows Update' program, and furthermore, Microsoft themselves say:

If you’re running [Enterprise], you can't install the free update to Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1 from the Store.

However they DO also say:

If you installed Windows 8 using an MSDN ISO, you might be able to install Windows 8.1 using a similar ISO from MSDN

But it does not specify whether this method allows seamless apps and settings-retaining upgrading or not.

Is there a method for doing it (whether official or unofficial - perhaps confirmed via experience of updating with some sort of Enterprise 8.1 ISO), or is an update indeed expected for the Enterprise version via the desktop 'Windows Update' program?

A further observation which may help: the page I cite refers to the 'Windows Store', which is the 'Modern UI' app store and NOT the desktop 'Windows Update' program which typically updates desktop Office and desktop Windows alike.

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The reason why you are confused is that today it's not Windows 8.1 Enterprise that is being released. Afaik, they released the Enterprise 8.1 Preview a couple of months back, see the announcement here with this page dedicated to further info, but I cannot find anywhere the news of the release of the final version of Enterprise 8.1.

You should also consider reading this MS page, where it is stated that you will be able to update via the Windows store (when the time comes, in your case), and that the install will migrate: ...

All data, settings, and applications

  • Thanks for your help, and I upvoted your answer, but I did that too soon. You helped illuminate more info, but I have gone on to find that actually, they HAVE released Enterprise RTM, in September, and I think I'm about to find out details about 'general availability' (GA) FINAL final version which has been released yesterday I think, to Technet and the rest. I'll post it as an answer if i can work it out with instructions. – user78017 Oct 18 '13 at 2:33
  • Follow-up: ok well it's a mess and I myself am going to wait instead of spend a whole day working this out, unfortunately. But for now, I can say: on TechNet etc, ISOs HAVE been released, e.g. en_windows_8_1_enterprise_x64_dvd_2971902.iso, en_windows_8_1_enterprise_x86_dvd_2972289.iso, en_windows_8_1_enterprise_n_x64_dvd_2971845.iso and en_windows_8_1_enterprise_n_x86_dvd_2971850.iso. However I'm not sure whether you need to install with the same locale as your original 8 OS is to allow seamless updating retaining apps and settings etc. So it's a mess and I'll wait for further clarity for now. – user78017 Oct 18 '13 at 3:44
  • Any new information, foregon? I tried to upgrade my Windows 8 dev VM and ended up losing all installed desktop applications and having to restore from the snapshot. – Kevin Buchan Dec 9 '13 at 12:44

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